Ben Proud Pops Another Winter 49.1 To Add 100m Crown To Tally As BUCs Wrap Up

Two Commonwealth crowns in 2014, 4th at the Olympic Games in 2016 - what next for Ben Proud? - by Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse for Arena

A day after a 21.73 British record in the 50m freestyle, Ben Proud added the British Universities 100m title to his tally with a dominant 49.10 effort at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

A day after a 21.73 British record in the 50m freestyle, Ben Proud added the British Universities 100m title to his tally with a dominant 49.10 effort at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge


David Brooks

Hey Craig,

Dd you notice the 3:50 and 1:48.9 put out by Nicolas Grainger in the heats?

Looks like the middle distance races could be pretty hot at the GB trials.


Craig Lord

Noted 🙂 Thanks David.

Stephen Swimming

Yeh, Ben Proud looks like he is doing something right. He is grabbing sprint freestyle by the scruff of the neck and making Britain competitive for medals in the 4×100 Medley Relay. Loughborough are less of the dominant force they used to be, despite taking the team title. Credit to them for winning, but the gap is narrowing. It is good to see a number of teams improving and Bath coming back into contention. The Scottish teams are on the way up too. It was disappointing to see some of Stirling’s top guys opting to not compete, but from Scotland Edinburgh are steadily becoming competitive in more and more events. To the outside observer, Scotland is a great option for University Swimming. I mean, who is David Cumberlidge….. He has come out of nowhere?

Craig Lord

🙂 David Cumberlidge – not exactly from nowhere, Stephen: last year, 23.71 and 51.74 … before that, a good club swimmer – everyone comes from somewhere 🙂

Stephen Swimming

Agreed. However, that is a strange part of my comment to focus on, and a second drop in a 50 is a big difference (Especially in February).

Craig Lord

Stephen, the rest of what you write I dealt with first – by reporting on it all, now and many times before. I don’t have time to engage in every comment left 🙂


Great to see Ben lowering the British Record at this stage of the season in Olympic Year. 49.1 is equally exciting, many Brits will be focusing on 100m time at the trials in hopes of seriously competing in 4x100m Medley come Rio. I’m hoping for a 48.1? Craig, what sort of times what he swimming in the 100m this time last year?


Questions over Barrett’s form but I believe he’s more than capable of replicating his 50.7 split from Berlin.

Craig Lord

Oli – (make that) 50.1 (at best) to more around 51 and 51.5 range. And 49.6 by early spring.


Proud’s advance does potentially bring a sub48 anchor split into play however the medal prospects of the GBR M4XMED are contingent on Barrett returning to 51mid form (50mid-high relay split).

Should this eventuate then GBR catapults to probably 2nd money behind US in this event. Remember they were only 0.17 off bronze in Kazan with a makeshift flyer and an off form Proud.

It will be interesting to see what the rest of the GBR M100free field swim behind Proud. Remember, whilst they missed this final in Kazan they were ahead of USA in the heats and have actually qualified this relay for Rio ….. something AUS abjectly failed to achieve.


One Thing for sure, the medley relay can actualy be a very interesting race (Based on 2015 times))

USA: Greevers, Miller, Phelps, Adrian

GBR: Hebborn, Peaty, James, Proud

China: Xu, Lizhuou, Zhuhao, Zetao

JPN: Irie, Koseki, Fuji, Shioura

Australia: Larkin, Packard, Hadler, Mcevoy

France: Lacourt, Dortogna, Mehtella, Manadou

Brazil: Guido, França, Martins, Chiereghinni

Rus: Rylov, Prigoda, Koptelov, Morozov

And I´m not counting Germany, we might have a lot of team who can go sub 3:31

haggis basher

I fully accept that Barrett has swam an amazing time before, and yes, I’m sure every British swimming fan will be jumping for joy, should he regain that form but i just find it really disrespectful to the other British flyers that we only mention him! Anthony James was very impressive at the BUCs meet and tom laxton made a big break through last year as well as others such as braxston tim.Maybe one of them can find the sort of form Barrett had in 2014????

David Brooks

Commonwombat, are you saying Australia are not qualified for the 4×100 free? That’s amazing if true.
Also, Rafael, would you consider South Africa a potential finalist. They have a decent middle and always seem to find a freestyler, so they just need a backstroker.
Craig, anyone on the horizon for them?

David Brooks

I can see GB putting up a decent 4×100 free. Much depends on whether Duncan Scott makes a drop. If he goes to say 48.7, and low 48 for the relay, and if Jarvis and Renwick stay around 49, they could be at 3:14. Not medal territory, but finalists perhaps. Potential too for Guy to go sub-49.

Craig Lord

David, teenager Chris Reid got down to 54.47 last year and could well go into 53s in his 20th year.

David Brooks

I guess they still need a freestyler,but they could be in the mix after three legs for sure.


They certainly DID miss direct Rio QF, Mr Brooks !! Direct QF of any relay was via finishing amongst the fastest 12 teams and due to McEvoy being rested for heats and two 49high legs by two swimmers with equivocal international records ….. they managed to bungle that task and finish 13th.

They now have to post a time before beginning of July that is amongst the 4 fastest of all nations not already qualified. Piece of cake you may think; McEvoy’s flying ……. but there is effectively no depth.

Look beyond McEvoy, Magnussen & Chalmers and the only other reliable relay option is Abood. Add to this, Magnussen is looking so rusty that any drug test would read positive for WD40 ….. and its starting to look a little less of a sure bet

Re RSA, LeClos is their only sub50sec man let alone sub49 for 100free so, regrettably, they’re not a chance. In any case, they didn’t enter this relay in Kazan and would have to take the same route as AUS M4X100.

With respect Mr Basher of Haggis’; Laxton has yet to post the times that are anywhere near internationally competitive (52sec just doesn’t cut it) and James’ 51.92 PB was …. how many years ago ? Barrett certainly may not get back to those 2014 times but on the hard evidence currently to hand, he has to be seen as the most likely candidate to swim something internationally competitive.


Well, the relays qualification are pretty much defined even for team that missed top 12:

Men 4×100 free
Top 12: France, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Poland, Japan, China, Canada, Belgium, GBR, USA and Germany.
We then have Australia and Greece on 3:16 range, Argentina and Turkey on 3:17 and Romania, Israel, Belarus and Venezuela on 3:18, I find it unlikely that 3 teams might pass Australia even if they do not swim.

Men 4 x 200 free: GBR, USA, Australia, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Japan, France and Denmark.
Then we have Brazil with a 7:11, Italy with a 7:13, China has only 7:16 but we know they can improve a lot this time, then we have Canada and Switzerland with a 7:17 who will probably battle for the last place, maybe RSA with a 7:18

Men 4 x100 medley:
USA, Australia, France, GBR, Russia, JPN, Germany, Poland, Italy, Brazil, China and Lithuania
Then we have Canada with a 3:34, Greece 3:37 both are probably safe, and then Belarus, New Zealand, Switzerland and Argentina battling for the last 2 spots.

Women 4×100 Free: AUS, NED, USA, SWE, CAN, ITA, CHN, FRA, JPN, RUS, BRA, POL.
Then we have GER with 3:41, Hong Kong with 3:42, SWI on 3:43, AUT on 3:44 and GBR with a 3:45 high.

Women 4×200 free: ITA, USA, AUS, SWE, CHN, JPN, GBR, FRA, RUS, BRA, CAN and GER.
Then we have NED on 8:04, AUT 8:05, Hong Kong 8:06 and Spain and Switzerland on 8:08 range.

Women 4 x100 medley: CHN, USA, SWE, AUS, DEN, CAN, ITA, RUS, GER, FRA, FIN and BRA.
Then we have JPN and GBR on 4:00 (Their DQ cost them their qualification for OG If I remember correctly), then fighting for the last 2 spots, we will have Czech and Spain on 4:03 and Greece, Iceland and Poland on 4:04 range.


W4XMED: I’d have to fancy GBR making it, especially if they have Sophie Taylor on BRS back and firing which they could move SMOC back to her stronger stroke (fly). GBR was able to put together a 3.57 at 2014 Euros with a lineup of Davies, Taylor, SMOC & Halsall.

Re AUS & M4X100; Swimming AUS has put up a benchmark composite time of 3.16.20 for the first 4 finishers in the 100free. This should be easy enough but it may not be that cut n dried. I feel much will depend on the times swum by the placegetters at Trials.

IF the first three finishers are all below the AUS QT of 48.49 and the fourth is at worst 49very low then its certain that they will proceed with this relay. However, if there is only one individual qualifier or 3rd and 4th are the wrong side of 49sec then selectors may have grounds to reconsider its viability.

David Brooks

Commonwombat, with regard to the GB women’s medley, is there any indication that Sophie Taylor is coming back? If she hasn’t trained over the winter, she has no chance. Rachel Kelly could be ready for a drop, which might mean SOC isn’t so critical on Fly.


Craig may be in a far better position to answer that question. With Taylor “switched on”, GBR is competitive on this leg; minus Taylor and they haemorrhage as badly as AUS has done in recent years.

David Brooks

Judging from her Twitter feed, she’s still very much retired. There is a chance another breaststroker will emerge yet, there are several younger ones that are on a steep curve.
But SOC ought to go low 1:06 judging by her winter pb this year and Kelly could do 57 flat or better. With sub 60 on backstroke and a 53 from Halsall, that’s 3:56, which puts them in the mix.

David Brooks

AS for South Africa’s men, what happened to Dylan Bosch? If he could offer a decent Fly, Le Clos could switch to the freestyle.

Craig Lord

There are several options, David, among whom a 1:06 relay split is possible. Sophie Allen, Kathyrn Johnstone, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (Lowe or Kelly on ‘fly, for example), Sarah Vasey and 16-year-old Katie Matts have all been 1:07s. Trials will tell us more about who is ready to step up.


Dave, if Taylor remains a non-starter then it certainly does puncture the GBR hopes. Sorry but SMOC isn’t really going to “cut it” on the BRS leg. She’s a 1.07high PB which would suggest 1.07flat/1.06 very high best case scenario.

That is an awful haemorrhage and if your flyer is on the pace then it’s fair to say that your chances are up a well known tributary. AUS found themselves in that locality in Kazan and were able to rescue bronze due to a barnstormer from C2. Outstanding 50 swimmer that Fran Halsall is, she hasn’t being going the distance over 100 in recent years.

Craig Lord

CW, I’d wait and see – Katie Matts, 15 to 16, and up from 1:09.89 to 1:07.96 in past year. Much can happen. Molly Renshaw is setting the 200m poace and also set a 1:05 s/c Brit record in December, so, scope for gains yet in the big pool.


Taylor DID train over the winter, she was due back a few months ago but put it off as far as I’m aware – Not much reasoning behind the decision.

I think Rio will be a little too soon, but Britain have a big group of young female breaststrokers pushing through. We had 7 girls under 2.27 in the 200 last year, all of them teenagers, the youngest of them only 14. It’ll come, but they need a few years yet.


Craig, had noticed Renshaw’s 200 progress and wondered where she was at over 100 ….. still some way to go at 1.08plus.

I think that GBR can certainly final in W4XMED in Rio but otherwise I tend to agree with Dee ….. lets see if/who takes the next step(s) and when.

Craig Lord

She went 1:05 s/c in December, so sure she is due for a l/c drop… we’ll see soon enough, CW


If only such patterns always played out in reality, Craig !

David Brooks

Dee, do you know if Taylor plans to swim the trials? I agree with you that the breaststoke shoall is promising, but hopefully one of them can breakthrough this year, because in 4 years time, there’ll be no Halsall, although SOC could be on the free with Kelly on the fly.
Commonwombat, you are probably right, but SOC did a 1:06.7 last year in the relay and could well be half a second faster this year. Also, Halsall is a 50 specialist these days, it’s true, but she did pop a sub-53 at the Commonwealth Games in the relay.
Craig, I think Sophie Allen retired last year due to a hip injury.

Craig Lord

Sure 🙂 – she has been on a good curve of 200 progress long and short… I’d imagine a sub 1:08, even a 1:07 flattish possible.

Craig Lord

David, yes on Sophie, was just listing the 1:07s… I haven’t heard any suggestion that Sophie T has been back in training and a few weeks ago she tweeted: ” … who knew that actually having a life after swimming would be so expensive??”


David, re SMOC it will be curious to know whether she will be placing the vast majority of her individual effort on the 200IM. She was swimming sub 1.56 200free and sub58 100fly in 2014 but these seemed to be sidelined last year.

Due to the DQ of that relay, I never saw an official split for the final but yes, she did split a 1.06.75 in heats. Maybe she may be up for something quicker this year …. maybe not. Some swimmers reach heights they never approach in individual endeavour whilst the opposite can also be true.

Yes, Fran did drop in a 52.58 in this relay at CG which if replicated COULD advance them ahead of some others but it may well be that something Campbellesque may be needed to enter the medal equation. In any case, barring brain farts/breaks; I feel that GBR should make the Rio final in this one.

David Brooks

I’d agree with that mate.
They could do with a backstroke drop too. Davies and Quigley are just under a minute, but a half a second more could be crucial.

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!